LIVE UPDATES: Whistle Stop Cafe’s Chris Scott is back in court

Chris Scott of the Whistle Stop Cafe is back in court today, fighting for his freedom against contempt of court charges. A secret Alberta court order had previously resulted in him being jailed for three days after refusing to comply with foreclosure orders to shut down his business.

Sheila gunn reid will provide live tweet updates on the audience.

(9:00 a.m. MT / 11:00 a.m.ET)

In virtual court to hear sanctions arguments in the contempt case of Chris Scott of the Whistle Stop Cafe, who was held for 3 days in jail for protesting the government seizure of his property when he refused to shut down his doors to comply with locking.

Scott, from Mirror AB pop 500, led the restaurant rebellion against lockdown. The government harassed him on a daily basis until he knocked down his doors. The government has requested a secret court order restricting its right to protest the act. But he did, went to jail for 3 days.

Rebel News helped Chris Scott through our partnership with registered Canadian charity, The Democracy Fund. He is represented by Chad Williamson, the lawyer who secured our right to participate in the leaders’ debates. To donate, please visit

OK here we are. Judge Germain sets out the opposite positions. Alberta Health Services wants 21 days in jail and multiplies the costs, just like they did for Pastor Art Pawlowski. Williamson says jail is unreasonable for a first-time contemptor. A small fine makes more sense.

Kyle Fowler for AHS has the miserable task of explaining why a man should go to jail for breaking a secret ordinance against his ability to protest the government seizure of his property. Scott staged a 1,500-person protest against the lockdown in a town of just 500

Scott was arrested after this demonstration and detained in prison for 3 days. His protest against the lockdown was seen as an illegal public gathering, as stated in the secret court order sought without the participation of Scott’s attorney, Chad Williamson.

Hunter said the protest was a large-scale public celebration. I was there. It was definitely a protest, with speakers, signs and a consistent message. (I guess AHS thinks it should have been more boring, with less music and less food. It was basically an Irish wake for our rights)

(the concept of happy warriors is totally alien to these austere bureaucrats)

Oh, AHS is now bothered that Chris Scott’s protest had some commercial success as people came to support him and he sold food / didn’t give food to people who came. (Sorry, but he was already bankrupt thanks to the government. What more did they want from him?)

Since Chris Scott’s children are older and because he has reliable staff, the AHS government lawyer argues that a custodial sentence for a first-time offender is reasonable and serves as advice to the public not to circumvent government public health orders.

AHS The lawyer has just said that Scott’s “breach now, challenge later” strategy is inappropriate and should not be tolerated. How do you challenge an order FIRST when AHS obtains these orders in secret without notifying the well-known lawyers of the respondents?

Ahhh It’s here. Because the public raised money to help Scott buy the Whistlestop land as Scott’s landlord was under pressure to end his lease, the government said a fine would be ineffective for him. Are the fines for people no one wants to help? Is that right?

And again, the AHS lawyer cites the ineffectiveness of the hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines imposed on Trinity Bible in Waterloo and Church of God in Aylmer. (assuming that Scott, like these congregations, will not be kneeling before the government anytime soon)

AHS pleads their case for costs. So the government grabbed Chris Scott’s business, after waging war against him for months, then they took him to jail for 3 days after taking his right to protest, and now they want $ $ for their working time to continue it. They want $ 10,922.25

The The AB government wants 21 more days in jail and nearly $ 11,000 in charges for Chris Scott for the crime of not going bankrupt quietly enough.

The the judge has questions about Scott’s crowdfunding. When the public saw that he had gone to jail for not shutting down his business and his owner trembled, the public gave him money to buy the business. Judge Germain: “Is it appropriate that I reimburse these profits?

Germain: this is a person who seems to have benefited greatly. He seems to have done very well during this pandemic.

The the judge looks confused. I don’t think he understands that people willingly gave money to help Scott get rid of his landlord and that people knew why they were giving him money.

AHS mentions that legal fees for Scott are paid by a third party. (it’s Fight fines in partnership with the Democracy Fund)

OK Williamson is next. We have a five-minute break first. Let’s take a Bubly water and check the porch for Amazon deliveries.

(10:12 a.m. MT / 12:12 p.m. ET)

Ken Johnston who works with Williamson Law is now speaking to Germain.

Johnston note that Calgary police are demonstrating outside city hall against forced vaccinations. And now it looks like there are connection issues with the court appeal. It could be me. Maybe the court.

And I’m back. I think it was a problem with me. Either way, Johnston argues that others are protesting the lockdown right now and that seems to agree with the government. But they’re going to throw the book at Scott for a protest where no one got sick.

Johnston acknowledges the nature of the order which restricted Scott’s right to protest. It was obtained ex parte, in secret, without her lawyer being involved / notified, without a hearing or ability to argue against it. There’s a reason Scott feels like he’s been treated unfairly.

Johnston Also notes that Scott filed a constitutional challenge to the order which he was found in contempt of court. Scott could therefore be sent to jail for an additional 21 days, and the order that allowed him could be found to be unlawfully inappropriate at a later date.

“Scott did not run and hid. He did not show false contrition. He broke public order as a matter of principle. “We have to look at Scott’s behavior during the protest. 1. it was peaceful 2. he told the protesters to obey the rules of covid 3. was fully cooperative .

(Scott wears his apron. I think he’s at the restaurant)

Williamson go talk about Scott’s finances. Because AHS is really hooked on the fact that the public continues to rally around Scott.

Williamson: “It is somewhat misleading that AHS failed to show the hardships my client faced in this pandemic” (Scott didn’t really start making money until after he held head to government. He had been in BIG trouble before. Which is a lesson in that for companies out there)

Johnston: courts must honor and cherish the public’s right to freedom of assembly and expression. These are the principles on which Mr. Scott broke the order.

Yes they send Scott to jail for 21 days, he will go to an institution where there are cases of covid, as AHS wants to do with the Pawlowski brothers. The drug dealers and the female drummers come out. Pastors and cafe owners are caught off guard. To offset legal fees, donate to Fight fines.

AHS is looking for higher than expected costs, by the way. They hate that they had to work so hard to get Chris Scott.

Chris Scott plans to go to court. Adjourned for 3 minutes.

Germain questions the “model of imprisonment” for Mr. Scott if he were to be sent to jail. “What would community service look like? Is there an elderly shelter or homeless shelter where he could cook? These are not questions put to Pawlowski’s lawyer.

Scott will go to court.

Scott: I want to express my feelings in the decision I was forced to make regarding the order. My contempt was never for the court, but for the government and the actions of the Alberta health services. I apologize to the court.

Scott: I still believe that these issues are more important than me or my freedom. I hope the court will see that my apologies are sincere.

Scott: at first, my decision to reopen my business was a matter of survival. But then I became a voice for the people. I have been inundated with stories of loss and hardship because of the government’s narrow approach to covid. The weight of it became very heavy on my shoulders.

Scott: it was humiliating and humiliating to ask people to help me. I declined fundraising for several months. When it became clear that we were going to lose the business, people insisted on helping.
AHS insists that I did this for commercial purposes. I put all the money into the purchase.

Scott: with the current restrictions and with what’s going on, I’m still not sure if the business will survive. (says it is poor in capital, higher payments, higher costs, etc.).

Scott says he was held in the drunken tank in Red Deer, not allowed to change contacts, clothes, etc. for 3 days. His crime was to protest the government which seized his business.

Scott: we are now forced to discriminate against our clients based on their medical decisions. I won’t stop fighting or bringing these things to light. But I won’t be disrespectful in court (Scott notes that after his release from prison he turned down non-compliant offers to speak)

Scott says that given the current restrictions, the things many people like him were saying at the start were true, and that the government and AHS have let Albertans down. Scott then offered to serve Albertans as part of his sanctions if Judge Germain so decides.

Scott has the last word and with that, the court is over. Sanctions will be announced on October 13 at 9 a.m. To support Chris Scott, the small town owner who spent 3 days in jail for protesting the government lockdown and the seizure of his cafe, donate today to

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